Block Uber & Ola Mobile Apps Immediately: AAP Govt Asks IT Ministry
Taking a hard stand, Delhi Government has asked IT Ministry to immediately block access to Ola and Uber mobile applications, as they are still offering cab services despite a ban placed on them.
After the unfortunate Uber rape incident in December last year, Delhi Govt. had placed a blanket ban on all online taxi aggregator services such as Ola and Uber. They both applied for radio cab licenses in Delhi, and resumed their operations from January onwards.
Delhi transport ministry has even threatened Uber and Ola that if they don’t comply with their orders, then their license applications which are currently in process, would be rejected.
Transport ministry sent separate letters to both Uber and Ola with strongly worded caution and warning: “In order to process your application further, I am directed to seek a sworn affidavit declaring therein that you are complying with the ban order imposed upon your company in letter and spirit.”
There has been no official statements from Ola and Uber regarding this new gag order.
Can GPS Prevent Rapes?
Last month, Delhi Govt. had asked all taxi operators and taxi aggregators to install GPS units in their cabs, along with a panic button. Additionally, the Govt. has altered the terms and conditions of the radio cab licensing rules, making lives tougher for the cab owners.
Some of the modified rules which are mandatory to get a radio cab licenses in Delhi:
- All cabs need to adhere to Motor Vehicles Act 1988 and Information Technology Act 2000
- Any company offering cabs should be a registered company under Companies Act and must be mandated to provide public transport services
- Every car should be fitted with a GPRS tracking unit along with a printer and a panic button which should alert the nearest police station or control unit along with the real time information about the cab
- Be it yellow-white taxis or taxi aggregator service, any company applying for radio taxi license should have a fleet of 200 taxis along with ample parking space for all the cabs
- The company should have a registered office in the city where services are being offered, along with a call center and website which lists the rates
Basically, what Delhi Govt. did was include taxi aggregator services into the old Motor Vehicle Act, without understanding their business model. If Uber or Ola has to comply with these rules, then they will be required to fundamentally change their business model itself.
Along with them, the regular cab operators and taxi services are also against the Delhi Govt., as they feel that GPS alone can’t ensure 100% safety. They were even planning to stage a ‘dharna’ (demonstration and strike) against the Delhi Govt. for ‘enforcing’ these rules which will take lots of expenditure and resources to be executed.
Can Rapes Be Stopped After Banning Billion Dollar Businesses?
Cases of rape and sexual molestation against Uber drivers have come up in USA as well, where action was taken against the driver, not the mobile app behind that service. Such reckless ban order by Delhi Govt. is the easier thing to do, compared with enforcing the law and making sure that no bad elements get driver’s license in the first place.
With billions of dollars of stake behind Uber and Ola, this decision will certainly result in some sleepless nights for their founders and employees. Last time Delhi Govt. banned these apps after the rape incident in December, Taxi For Sure lost the venture capital battle, even if they were not responsible for it and were forced to sell themselves to Ola.
Yes, enforcing the rules and ensuring safety is the most important thing, but banning all and out without understanding their business model is also not right.
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